Why should we #RethinkMaterialism?
#ebbfmember Nahal Tavangar shows in the image some creative ways in which she came up with new ideas at a recent ebbf event and you can read the reasons given by people from around the world who already booked their place at ebbf’s annual international event.
Why do YOU think we should Rethink Materialism?
If you are interested in offering a keynote or a learnshop at ebbf’s next international annual event, you have until 30th of November to send your proposal.
We are looking to create a truly inspiring learning event attracting speakers and facilitators of workshops, who are able to challenge current assumptions, elevate our thinking and inspire meaningful conversations and actions using topics relevant both to ebbf and to the theme of the event.
He shares below a few initial thoughts reflecting the theme of the event: can ethical business build the future through the spiritual enterprise?
“The ongoing global crisis may induce some to despair and give in to cynicism. Yet, viewed in the context of human evolution, we may not be experiencing just a random phase of trouble and conflict, with no light at the end of the tunnel.
All living things — including humankind as a whole — evolve through periods of stable development as well as rapid and painful transitions, crisis. While the risks in such transitions are considerable, the opportunities are even more consequential and have, indeed, spurred the human species on its social evolution.
You will be able to interact with ebbf board member and IEF president Arthur Dahl at the next #ebbfspirit international event, but you can also enjoy his inspiration and ideas during a 7-week online course offered by the Wilmette Institute.
Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind
from September 10 to October 28.
This course explores the scientific and spiritual dimensions of sustainable development. You will learn to perceive the word prosperity from a new perspective, meaning the condition where the basic needs of all the people of the world are being met and where everyone has the opportunity to develop their full potential and is able to contribute to the well-being of humankind. After looking at the origins and definition of sustainable development, you will study the economic, social, and environmental issues that humanity faces in achieving sustainability and discuss the spiritual principles that can help us find solutions. You will discuss the urgent need to make a fundamental transition away from a society and economy that are threatening our planetary security. You will explore the implications of the new Sustainable Development Goals and of Agenda 2030 adopted at the United Nations. Finally, you will look at the importance of education reinforced with spiritual values as the basis for helping each of us detach ourselves from Western materialistic civilization; reexamine our present lifestyles; and begin to live more sustainably in accordance with spiritual teachings. The course materials were designed from a Baha’i perspective, but they are interfaith in spirit; people from all faiths will enjoy the spiritual approach to this vital topic. Scholarships are available for all who need them.
ONLY 6 DAYS to end of #ebbfspirit early bird rate (31st August),
ebbf’s next international event exploring how the transition towards the spiritual enterprise will allow ethical business to build the future. What does that mean? How do spiritual enterprise look different? How can I implement successful spiritual leadership, purpose and behaviours in my organization?
See this video to experience the kinds of thinking and interactions you can enjoy at ebbf international events with an interview with World Bank Director of Indicators Group Augusto Lopez-Claros taken at a recent ebbf international event.
Participants from around the world will once again convene for ebbf’s next international event.
This time in Bucharest, from the 12th to the 15th of October 2017, we aim to deepen our understanding and then find practical solutions we can implement in our workplaces of how can ethical business build the future, transitioning towards the spiritual enterprise?
CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Inspired by the Universal House of Justice’s letter of the 1st of March 2017 this event does not aim to create definitions of what a spiritual enterprise is, instead we will look for WHYs and HOWs.
We are looking for speakers able to share WHY today the concept of the spiritual enterprise is more relevant than ever before and HOW we can take steps towards implementing useful spiritual principles and behaviours to improve our workplaces and organizations.
We are looking for inspiring contributors for keynotes and learnshops to fuel a transformative ebbf kind of event. Whether you wish to contribute some thoughts on the practical application of how ethical business can build the future transitioning to the spiritual enterprise or bring new perspectives to inspire participants, we would be delighted if you could come and exchange your views with other forward-thinking, action-oriented individuals.
DEADLINE FOR SENDING YOUR PROPOSAL OR FORWARDING TO ANOTHER POTENTIAL SPEAKER: 29th June 2017
All proposals will be reviewed by a panel and we will let you know the outcome by email by mid July.
Want to get a few highlights from the recent international ebbf annual event and some of what we learnt in that four day journey?
And for one week only, you can enjoy a very special return event rate for the next ebbf international event.
An opening keynote summary by ebbf member Iko Congo
Carl Emerson introduced Arthur Dahl as an exceptionally experienced person who consults for the UN WEF, World Bank, President of IEF and a professor, someone who is involved in many things and has over 200 publications. His keynote was about systems science beyond diversity and humorously noted that the way to start this business conference was a scientist.
He started his talk by conceiving diversity and offering different metaphors. When seeing diversity as a variety of different things in an assemblage, we can see the beauty of a garden with flowers of different sizes, colours and aromas. He went deeper asking a few questions. Is it enough to have a bunch of different things together? If was not for the gardener how long would the beauty of the garden last? Would weeds come in?
Reflecting then this truth into a human community with different races, cultures and languages, what would happen if some consider themselves superior over others? How would this community function? Would wars and quarrels ensue?
Arthur’s speciality is coral reefs which are a prime example of interdependence 400 corals, 4000 molluscs, 1500 fish just on the Great Barrier Reef. A very high number of different species support each other, live not only in harmony but in cooperation, where each life form helps to maximise total productivity.
The point I believe he was making was that what is important in a complex system is not the just the number of different entities but how they interact. How do they contribute to something larger than individual parts? “Much of it comes down to communication”. Something he hoped during the weekend the conference participants will have.
He then moved on to his talk to explore diversity in human society. Arthur shared a quote from the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity
“Much of the human body, the interdependent body of humanity is composed of diverse elements whose wellbeing can only be achieved through integration and coordination. No cell or organ lives apart from the human body, and the well-being of each derives from the well-being of the whole. At the same time, it is the unity and interdependence of the body’s diverse cells and organs that permit the full realisation of the distinctive capacities inherent in each.”
He introduced Peter Turchin as someone who tried to model history and study the rise and fall of civilisations. Turchin, despite being an atheist, pronounced that he could only find religions as the factor that allowed for groups of people to transcend the differences that initially divided them as religions acted as catalysers for ethical values that enabled groups to build trust and increased level of altruism among leaders.
He then spent the remaining time of his talk exploring a letter from The Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the worldwide Baha’i community, on economics where the institution offers some thoughts on the current conditions of the world and potential alternatives in light of the Baha’i writings. He explored rich themes such as the moral dimension of economic life, the materialistic vision of human purpose, the seductive messages in our contemporary society, the economic systems failure, the overcoming the dangers, the challenging economic assumptions, the reorganisation of human society and the higher purpose of economic activity.
Following is one excerpt from the message he shared: “Every choice one makes—as employee or employer, producer or consumer, borrower or lender, benefactor or beneficiary—leaves a trace, and the moral duty to lead a coherent life demands that one’s economic decisions be in accordance with lofty ideals, that the purity of one’s aims be matched by the purity of one’s actions to fulfil those aims.”
He finished the session with three questions for reflection:
Can a systems perspective help you to explain to others the need to go beyond the materialist and individualist economic paradigm?
How can we avoid unwittingly adopting the materialist ways of seeing the world?
What opportunities may be open to you to experiment with new approaches to your economic life?
You can find the documents he referenced in the following links:
Evening keynote by Payam Zamani at the #ebbfdiversity conference in Geneva
Before telling his personal experience he started the session with the Ocean water video.
A 2007 study of the Science Foundation states that a healthy population depends on genes diversity. Nature is telling us that diversity is a must. Loss of diversity threathens species diversity.
Payam has a personal story of diversity, as a member of a minority in Iran, the Baha’is, and as an immigrant to the US without speaking a word of English. He was born in a Baha’i family and their parents always wanted to be pioneers in places where there are not Baha’is , starting from remote location in Iran. In 1987 he moved to Pakistan than to US in 1988.
Diversity was the first thing he noted when he arrived in the US. He joined the College in Modesto, California, where he falled in love with the idea of community building. In 1994 he graduated from the college and loved the idea of launching a business on the Internet. In 1999 he made the AutoWeb IPO lasting till the 2001 Nasdaq crash. Some years later started to reemerge and in 2015 he launched One Planet Ops. A new story, based on his personal learnings, began.
ebbf annual conference speaker Fateme Banishoeib is a perfect living example of a multicultural background and she offers below an interesting angle on the theme of the event “How can ethical business build the future going beyond diversity?” .
She even just recently wrote a book “The Whisper” which you can find more about including a video introduction on her website here https://rnewb.com/the-whisper/ or even go and purchase her book here.
The way she introduces her book is “I became a scientist because I wanted to save lives and I wrote poetry to save myself. My book of poems, The Whisper, is a lyrical conversation I had with the tiny voice that I had ignored for years while I climbed the corporate ladder.”
Here below is that Fateme had to share about the theme of the ebbf event.
“Diversity is a burden
We hear a lot about diversity. It became a buzz word. As we hear it and read it daily we might have the impression that is the holy solution to all our problems. Especially because it is presented as a source for innovation, increased performance, competitive advantage and creativity. This potential, however, is only accessible when we practice inclusion. Diversity alone is not enough. Diversity becomes a burden when not paired with inclusion, only when combined they become a competitive advantage. The real advantage comes for engaging into a conversation with the world that enables creativity, freedom and true sense of purpose.
We need to be aware and acknowledge the fact that for example in the workplace (and outside too) diverse teams face higher chances to get into conflict compared to more homogeneous or less diverse teams. By diverse I refer to different opinions, background, skills, values, beliefs and more.
Those conflicts get on our way to advance inclusion. It is not uncommon to associate negative meaning and even emotions or feelings to the word conflict. This is the result of our upbringing and evolution. As a result, we tend to suppress it by exercising power. Yet, I believe that we can find the resolution to conflict in the tension that generates from it. In so doing we become more inclusive.
A typical example is conflict arising from diversity of value system. To be able to overcome such a conflict we need to find a language to communicate and resolve. We need to have real conversations which means we must listen to all the voices that take part to the conversation. It is crucial we understand where our own core values and others’ lay for engaging into a conversation. Only then we can think about our own motivation and needs and articulate them with a true voice, while remaining, at the same time, open to others’ voice.
As we engage in these conversations we need to be aware that tapping only into our intellect, wont be enough to solve any conflict. I honestly do not buy any formula that prescribes us to leave the emotions out. First of all I do not believe that is possible and second I am truly convinced that instead we need to find ways to access them. The understanding of our emotions and the needs behind them helps us to engage in the creative process to find resolution. We need to find a common ground that integrates both the rational and emotional starting first with ourselves and then include others.
One tool we have to integrate both rational and emotional is writing. Through writing we can access our thoughts and emotions so that they do not remain unconscious. We know, and science has proven it, that beyond logic and reasoning, emotions and intuition are critical to what we do and how we make decisions, either we are aware of them or not. As we gain clarity and self-awareness around our emotions and thoughts, we learn how to self-manage ourselves. We understand more of what trigger us, what nurture us and by understanding more about ourselves we learn how to relate to others more effectively.
My motto is “Inclusion starts with self” this means that we need to start by being inclusive of our emotions without shaming or repressing them. By being inclusive of our own emotions and thoughts as of others is the key for meaningful conversations.
You can meet with her and all the other speakers and global audience at ebbf’s next international event in Geneva
more info here, only very few places left if you are interested.
<a class=”LinkButton” href=”http://ebbf.org/event/ebbf-diversity-annual-conference/#ebbf”>More info on the ebbf event and speakers</a>